The Coleridge Lectures: Coleridge, the ancient mariner, Bristol and beyond

12 March 2015, 6.00 PM - 12 March 2015, 7.30 PM

Richard Holmes

Reception Room, Wills Memorial Building, University of Bristol, Queen’s Road, Bristol, BS8 1RJ

The publication of the Lyrical Ballads in Bristol in 1798 launched the Romantic poetry movement. Richard Holmes, author of the great two-volume biography of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and also of The Age of Wonder, looks at the life and work of Coleridge in Bristol and the Quantock Hills at this critical moment. What originally inspired the writing of ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, and what has this great and mysterious poem come to mean to us now? Holmes explores its varied interpretations, the revealing history of its illustrations, and its powerful emergence as a modern eco-fable. The poem speaks urgently to our own time about our duties towards the earth and the animals, and the spiritual – not merely physical – fate that may befall us should we fail in our stewardship, ‘alone on a wide wide sea’.
This lecture is part of a new annual series inspired by Coleridge’s radical lectures in Bristol in 1795. The 2015 series is run in association with Bristol Festival of Ideas, the Cabot Institute at the University of Bristol and Bristol 2015. It is part of The Romantic Poets and Bristol programme, which celebrates the life of Thomas Chatterton, Hannah More, William Wordsworth, Coleridge and others in the city, and Bristol as the place where Romanticism was born with the first publication of the Lyrical Ballads. The programme focuses especially on nature and the emotions, place and the environment, and also looks at Bristol as a city for science, philosophy, ideas and political debate at the time of Coleridge and today. The 2015 theme is Radical Green. Future themes are: Utopias (2016); Revolution (2017) and Peace (2018).


This event is free to attend and open to all, but booking is required. Click on the booking link HERE. Please note, booking opens 29 January 2015.
Events start punctually and, out of consideration to other audience members and speakers, our policy is not to admit or issue refunds to latecomers. Please allow enough time to collect your ticket/s from the relevant box office (if these haven't already been posted to you), and make sure to arrive before the advertised start time to take your seat/s. The Festival of Ideas endeavours to hold its events in venues that are accessible to all, but if you have specific access concerns it is advisable to contact the venue direct. We sometimes film and photograph Festival of Ideas events. Please let us know if you do not wish to be filmed or photographed.
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Richard Holmes

Richard Holmes

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